n South African Journal of Higher Education - Higher education : spectators or players in globalisation

Volume 16, Issue 1
  • ISSN : 1011-3487



Although the concept of globalisation is embedded in the economic field, it is not foreign to education in view of the fact that economic growth leans heavily on current research trends. The concept includes important factors like the free flow of information, diminishing boundaries, culture, language and the biggest commodities - knowledge and technology. Within these factors the role of higher education needs to be clearly outlined, seeing that these factors contain far reaching implications and consequences. One example centers around the lack of clarity in areas like copyright that are brought about by the free flow of information. Knowledge ownership and sharing, commodities whose origin used to be valued and respected in the paper era, have become blurred in the electronic age. Culture and language are central in the debate on globalisation because as boundaries diminish it is crucial that different cultures come together. The degree to which such an expectation is feasible remains to be explored in higher education. Consequences like internationalization, SADC protocol and economic concerns emerge, as the world becomes boundless. These issues will be discussed in detail in the article. Globalisation in Higher Education has the potential to play a significant role in deepening our perceptions of culture and sense of understanding of what our responsibilities are as players in the global village. Higher education institutions, as leaders in the creation and utilisation of knowledge, are well placed to engender a research climate that will open opportunities for social and economic innovation in the country.

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